Mashable Poll: Is the Internet a Fundamental Right?

I think that Sam Axon asks a very important question… Should the internet be something free and open to all? I voted, “Yes, but mainly because the free flow of information is necessary to preserve other liberties”.

Internet freedoms were in the headlines earlier this year after Google threatened to quit China, the world’s biggest Internet market, over strict censorship rules.

Just like we are all granted certain rights to freedoms – I wouldn’t say that the internet is a “fundamental right” – because time and time again, we have seen people abuse it and post hate and crime and other unmentionable things. Just like your parents can take away your car keys and your browsing privileges, I think that you can “lose” your right to surf the internet…

Now do I think that right should be managed by the government? Heck no! But there has to be some “third-party” that can put one on probation or “ground” them temporarily for breaking the law or taking away other people’s right to freedoms. Unfortunately I don’t think this “third-party” exists without biases.

One interesting fact (from the many) in this article was that according to the poll, over 70 percent of respondents in Japan, Mexico and Russia said they could not live without the Internet. Have you ever tried to live one day without internet? Better yet, in college I remember my professor once dared us all to do one day without technology – we turned off the televisions, closed down the laptops and had to find something else to entertain us and keep us busy… The only thing I could come up with was sitting still because I figured as soon as I started moving, there was some piece of technology affecting my being – music on the radio, car to get somewhere, cell phone ringing – it was impossible to avoid… Would I DIE without internet? No. Would I function without internet? Not at all.


March 8, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Social Media, the Oxymoron?

I’ve been thinking a lot about our/my dependence on technology. The other day, I couldn’t remember a phone number that 8 years ago I would have memorized because I used a landline – AND back then it MEANT something if someone “memorized” your number. It was a sign you were in love with someone, you were best friends or you cared. But besides maybe the 5 most important people in my life, I can’t remember numbers or dates. 


I think this carries into a lot of different aspects in life. My co-worker noted that she can only remember birthdays because they are on Facebook… pop-ups in Outlook remind me of a meeting in 15 minutes -> 5 minutes -> 1 minute overdue… Engagements and marriages are reflected in status changes… Twitter is a constant feed on what my friends are doing… I’M TOTALLY DEPENDENT.

But, here’s my argument: Is social media really social at all? I thought we called those nerds in parent’s basements playing World of Warcraft “anti-social” because they wouldn’t go play outside with their friends. Well, now I’m playing my own version of WoW called “Twitter” and “Facebook” and “Blogging”. What makes me more social than the guy in mom’s basement? Quite honestly, not a whole lot… He may play in a make-believe world but so do I in a way. I’m not interacting face-to-face and there are health benefits to that! Brad Hunter, Stanford student writes about the benefits in this short article (I liked it since it references a Sociologist – my other major and passion).


Adding another New Year’s resolution to the pile… 10 minutes a day I’m exercising my memory part of my brain through memory tests just to make sure I keep a healthy hippocampus.


**I know that there are social benefits specifically to social media like feeling more connected to those that you wouldn’t normally talk to face-to-face and social media encourages communication and communication paths that aren’t always an option in-person… But… I’m just pointing out something that I’ve noticed and I’m recommending everyone who can’t remember your ex-BF’s/GF’s number that you had ingrained in your brain in high school – may need to exercise their hippocampus as well. Hah.

March 12, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.